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Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY

No. 6 Kentucky regroups with 87-63 rout of Valparaiso

2179 days ago
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Bam Adebayo scored 16 points, Malik Monk added 15 and No. 6 Kentucky scored 21 straight points in a first-half run to beat Valparaiso 87-63 on Wednesday night.

Needing to rebound after Saturday's upset by then-No. 11 UCLA, Kentucky (8-1) turned a 4-all tie into a 29-9 lead behind that big run over 8:51, holding the Crusaders scoreless for 7 minutes during that stretch. Valparaiso (7-2) shot 23 of 67 from the field (34 percent), including 28 percent in the first half.

Derek Willis added 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe 10 for Kentucky, which shot 46 percent after making just 41 percent against UCLA.

High-scoring Valparaiso forward Alec Peters scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half for the Crusaders, who had their four-game winning streak snapped eight days after upsetting No. 21 Rhode Island. The nation's second-leading scorer coming in (25.4 points per game) went to the locker room briefly in the second half after hurting his right leg but returned to finish off his ninth 20-point effort in as many games.


Valparaiso: The Crusaders haven't shot above 50 percent this season and for a while appeared headed to a season low from the field. They went scoreless for more than 2 minutes several times and couldn't slow Kentucky even with its reserves in the game, being outscored 34-15 in that area.

Kentucky: Coach John Calipari sought defensive improvement after allowing 53 percent shooting by UCLA and got it for the most part after a sloppy start. Power forward Wenyen Gabriel started and had two of his career-best three blocks by halftime and had six rebounds. The Wildcats controlled the boards 48-41.


Kentucky has another game on Sunday against Hofstra, but its Top 10 status appears safe after bouncing back from the UCLA loss.


Valparaiso: Visits Missouri State on Saturday night.

Kentucky: Travels to Brooklyn, New York, for an inaugural meeting against Hofstra on Sunday.